Running From Office

Running From Office

Why Young Americans Are Turned Off to Politics

eBook - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Oxford University Press
The past two decades of politics in Washington have seen increased partisanship, prolonged stalemates, and numerous scandals. For today's teenagers and young adults, years of ineffective and inefficient political leadership have completely eroded any sense that politicians or government have the ability to do good or effect positive change. Worse, the mean-spirited, dysfunctional political system that has come to characterize American politics has turned young people off to the idea of running for office. With more than 500,000 elected positions in the United States, what will happen when this generation is expected to take the reins of political power?

Through an original, national survey of more than 4,000 high school and college students, as well as more than 100 in-depth interviews, Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox find that young Americans feel completely alienated from contemporary politics and express little ambition or aspiration to run for office in the future. The overwhelming majority see nothing particularly noble about those currently in office, viewing most as dishonest, self-interested, and disinterested in helping their constituents. These young people want to improve their communities and enact change in the world; but they don't think politics is the way to achieve these goals. In fact, they look disdainfully upon the prospects of growing up to be a mayor, governor, senator, or even president of the United States. Running from Office explores young people's opinions about contemporary politics and their political ambition (or lack of it). The book paints a political profile of the next generation that should sound alarm bells about the long-term, deeply embedded damage contemporary politics has wrought on U.S. democracy and its youngest citizens.

As disheartening as their conclusions sound, Lawless and Fox end with practical suggestions for how new technologies, national service programs, and well-strategized public service campaigns could generate political ambition in young people. Today's high school and college students care deeply about improving the future, and it's not too late to ensure that they view running for office as an effective way to do so.

Publisher: New York, New York :, Oxford University Press,, 2015
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780199397662
Characteristics: 1 online resource (229 pages) : illustrations, graphs
Additional Contributors: Fox, Richard Logan - Author


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 28, 2015

[This book begs the obvious remark: The last time we had the best and the brightest in the presidency, he got his brains blown out - - I think we received the message, or as former senator, Gary Hart just said, the young Americans should overthrow the government! ] The thought of the author mentioned in the description: // This tendency threatens democracy because the best and brightest will not shape future governance. \\
Most humorous! Darryl Issa, John Boehner, Imhofe, et cetera, the // best and the brightest \\ ??? Quick, send in the reinforcements!
Instead of this authors treatist on political theater which, if the youth of American haven't fallen for this tripe, then it seriously is a recommendation for their superiority! Here's hoping . . .

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at FSJPL

To Top